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If the British Columbia Court of Appeal grants the provincial government the powers to regulate oil flows through its territory, then Alberta would by analogy gain the same right, which would end up as a problem for B.C., said Alberta’s Prime Minister Rachel Notley in response to a move by the B.C. government.
“We have asked the courts to confirm B.C.’s powers within our jurisdiction to defend B.C.’s interests, so that there is clarity for today and for the generations to come,” Premier John Horgan said in a statement after the province submitted a reference question to the B.C. Court of Appeal—the highest court to which the province can send a reference question.
“Our government will continue to stand up for the right to protect B.C.’s environment, economy and coast,” said Horgan.
The B.C. government is asking the court to review proposed amendments to the Environmental Management Act that would give the province the authority to regulate the impacts of heavy oils like diluted bitumen as part of its fight against the Trans Mountain oil pipeline expansion project that Alberta is defending with all it has.
According to Notley, if the court decides in favor of the B.C. government, not just Alberta’s but Canada’s economy will “grind to a halt faster than you can say ‘free trade’”.
Related: U.S. Oil Exports Are Only Heading Higher
“The way B.C. is framing this would effectively drive a truck — but not a train or a pipeline, apparently — through that loophole,” Notley added. “The resulting consequences would be very, very damaging to our national economy.”
The consequences will also potentially be very damaging for the very same environment that the B.C. government wants to protect from oil spills. Oil by truck is a far riskier alternative to pipelines for reasons including traffic on roads and the human factor.
While the two provinces exchange verbal blows and threaten legislative ones, the Trans Mountain project’s owner, Kinder Morgan, might just walk away from the whole quagmire. The company has given authorities until the end of May to come up with a way to ensure the project can take place, but according to B.C.’s Attorney General, the Court of Appeal is unlikely to issue a ruling by that date.
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
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Irina is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing on the oil and gas industry.
So go ahead BC and cut off your nose.. They had better Pray that alterinative fueled vehicles become very quickly available there.
This was Conoco's Motto way back when Conoco split away from Dupont!
It was a Great Motto Archie, You had everybody behind you!
It's time to do it again, for Keystone XL. The first one to the construction start line, will win the prize.
But to succeed we need to get the API and Scott Pruitt to stop fighting the American Farmers in Nebraska and South Dakota over ethanol. If you will let E-15 and Ethanol live, you will probably let Yukon XL Live Also.
API and Scott Pruitt, ---- Its time to wake up, and Think Big, Move Fast.
This is a win-win plan for Canada and the World.